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Answering 'animal gender' questions appropriately

(9 Posts)
Southwestwhippet Thu 09-Jul-09 19:45:26

I teach the pony club sylabus to a group of children age 9 and under. (youngest 5, most children 8 or 9)We were learning about putting rugs on the other day when one child asked
"is this pony a boy or a girl?"
I replied
"it's a boy pony"
Someone then asked (genuine curiosity, no giggling)
"how can you tell?"

So I calmly pointed under the pony's tummy and said
"Boy ponies have a willy. They keep it tucked away here and when they need a wee they let it out, have a wee then tuck it away again".

All the children had a little look and were calm and happy with that explanation. No silliness, we were being very matter of fact which is how I believe this stuff should be broached. After all animals are not modest (especially horses!) and children are bound to be curious.

Then one little girl asked
"how can you tell if it is a girl pony?".

A totally natural question I think but I was totally stumped as to how to answer. Female horses have a vagina under their tails, located beneath the anus but what on EARTH do you call it to a bunch of 8 year olds? What is age appropriate, parent appropriate, practical, matter-of-fact language for the female genitals?

I ended up saying
"Female ponies have nipples under their tummies to feed their babies pony from" but this really did feel like a cop out.

What do you mums think? I am currently pregnant with first so no experience of having my own child or what is seen as 'appropraite' for another adult to teach a young class.

Obviously 'sex ed' is NOT something I cover (or want to) but simple questions like this need to be answered.


flowerybeanbag Thu 09-Jul-09 19:46:46

How about 'girl ponies don't have a willy'.

hippopotamouse Thu 09-Jul-09 19:48:17

Boy ponies have a penis and girl ponies do not?wink

cookielove Thu 09-Jul-09 19:48:21

yeah i would agree with flowery

hippopotamouse Thu 09-Jul-09 19:48:46

Cross posts lol!

purepurple Thu 09-Jul-09 19:48:56

what fbb said
i think you coped well

Southwestwhippet Thu 09-Jul-09 19:55:43

smile my mum said the same. Right am fully equiped for the next round of 'scarey' questions. LOL

It just took me by surprise and in this day and age you have to be soooooo careful with other people's children (rightly so of course)

cockles Tue 14-Jul-09 10:30:49

Say vagina! What kind of message are you giving kids if you can say the word for male genitals and not female?

LeninGrad Tue 14-Jul-09 10:41:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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